Fuel dealers defy government directive

BULAWAYO fuel service stations have still not complied with a government directive to reduce prices by almost 20% in line with falling international crude oil prices.

MTHANDAZO NYONI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The government gave the local oil industry up to yesterday to reduce fuel prices, but a snap survey by Southern Eye Business revealed that although dealers had reduced prices, the drop was still way below the stipulated figure.

The price of petrol at most garages was pegged at around $1,50 per litre, but newly appointed Energy minister Samuel Undenge said in line with the freight on board (FOB) December rates, fuel prices should be pegged at $1,20 for diesel and $1,32 for petrol.fuel

However, Sakunda was selling petrol for $1,40 per litre, a drop of less than 10c and diesel at $1,33. At Total, diesel was pegged at $1,38 and petrol $1,49 while Trek was selling petrol for $1,41 and diesel at $1,28.

One attendant at a fuel garage said they were waiting for a directive from their bosses in Harare.

“I think we will comply because we are still waiting for the directive from our bosses in Harare,” the attendant said.

Undenge told journalists last week that current pump prices were higher than those obtained using the December 2014 FOB prices as companies claim that they are disposing of old stocks bought much earlier.

“Fuel in Zimbabwe must be made available, not just at any cost or price but at the lowest possible cost. I expect the December FOB based maximum pump prices to take effect by 14 January 2015 (yesterday),” Undenge said.

Crude oil on the international market has been in free-fall since June 2014 from around $118 per barrel to $70 per barrel in December 2014.

In June 2014, FOB prices at Beira, Mozambique were at $0,88 per litre for diesel and $0,86 per litre of petrol. These have since gone down to $0,57 and $0,52 per litre respectively as at end of December 2014.

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